If you go through collector car ads, you are sure to come across a large number of car tributes and clones. At first glance, these cars will seem to you like those special models that everybody wants to own. However, on second look you will realize that they are actually just a common base type with the right pieces included. For instance, a regular Mustang becomes a Shelby GT500 tribute while an old Pontiac LeMans is converted into a GTO clone.
This is something you are bound to see happening quite regularly with cars. However, the same thing can’t be said of motorcycles. In fact, I had never really thought about this with respect to motorcycles, until I recently came across an eBay listing for the 1952 Vincent Black Lightning tribute shown in the above picture. According to the listing description, this particular motorcycle model was manufactured only after production had ceased from all its original parts.
Although I’m not a Vincent expert, I have no doubt that this is really a top-class bike. In addition to being the 1st place quail winner, according to the eBay description, the bike was also a museum-quality restoration that is part of the Gene Brown Collection. It had been restored at the Harris Vincent Gallery by Herb Harris with and for Gene Brolin. The bike has both a Burns and Wright bottom end in it.
The motorcycle didn’t leave the factory as a Black Lightning but was assembled from parts that could have ended being part of a complete Black Lightning if its production had gone on to its natural completion.
Unlike cars, vintage motorbikes tend to actually be what they look. Don’t expect to see as many models of vintage bikes coming in multiple trim levels and numerous choices in the engines to be used as you would with vintage cars. In fact, a single combination can just turn out to be the highly sought-after Holy Grail. One advantage with this is that while auto tributes and clones can mislead you if you fall into the hands of an unscrupulous vintage car seller, with motorcycles you are relatively safer.
Image source: flickr.com